Whenever I travel somewhere or especially before I write about my travels I like to do a little research in advance. By research I mean of course Google and Wikipedia. While my academic friends (and the fictional Robert Langdon from the book I’m finishing) cringe at the thought, I just don’t think it’s worth a trip to the Library of Congress for a little old blog post. For those who follow along that aren’t lucky enough to have discovered the splendor of Montauk, allow me to prep you with a few details.
Montauk is located about 110 miles from New York City at the Eastern most tip of Long Island. Appropriately it is nicknamed “The End”. It is actually a hamlet (or area within a town) in the village of East Hampton. The area derives its name from the native American Indian Tribe – the Montaukett. Montauk has served as a strategic military base with Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard stations operating at various points in the town’s history. In fact my Grandfather was stationed as a Naval aviator at Montauk Naval Air Station for about a year in 1918 and 1919. More about that in a later blog post.
I addition to being a top beach resort and surfing haven, Montauk is a key commercial and recreational fishing destination. The fictional character Quint in the movie Jaws is loosely based on a local shark fisherman, the late Frank Mundus who caught what is thought to be the largest great white ever caught by rod and reel in the waters off of Montauk point . The area has preserved much of it’s vintage local charm in part by banning chain hotels and fast food restaurants. Montauk has one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the entire United States. The Montauk Lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington in 1792 and completed in 1796.
To me it will always be the place that I went with my Mom and Dad, my Grandparents and my cousins for a summer holiday within a vacation to New York when I was 9 or 10 years old. I’ll try to conjure up some memories of those times in my next post.